The principal role of the monthly parish magazine was, of course, to support the church’s religious mission, but the First World War brought inconveniences and calamities that the magazine could not ignore. As part of the Heritage Lottery-funded “Remembering Herne Hill 1914-18” project we have been able to track the effects of the conflict on parishioners from its outbreak to the Armistice (with help from churchwarden Leigh Whittingham and administrator Derek Gibson).
Throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras Herne Hill and Denmark Hill had many residents of German origin. They were mostly merchants and bankers, able to afford pleasant villas in what were then semi-rural surrounds. The outbreak of war saw the freedoms of people of German (and Austro-Hungarian) origin – there were some 40,000 in London – severely curtailed. The businesses of those whose commercial activities depended on trade with Germany disappeared overnight.